The Czech government will on Monday discuss taking legal action at the
European Commission over the freezing of subsidies for the company
Agrofert, which was founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, iRozhlas.cz
reported. The Commission halted a CZK 1.6 billion grant for an Agrofert
project after an audit found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest over
his ownership of the company.
If the cabinet approves the filing of a lawsuit in Brussels it will be submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in line with standard practice.
The minister of the interior and head of the Central Crisis Staff, Jan
Hamáček of the Social Democrats, says it would have been fairer of Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO to remove Adam Vojtěch as health minister
and retain Roman Prymula. Mr. Prymula, who has been one of the leaders of
the state’s Covid-19 strategy, is stepping down as deputy minister of
In an interview in Saturday’s Právo, Mr. Hamáček said the fact Mr. Prymula was to be made a government commissioner meant ANO were creating a “B government”.
The Social Democrats chairman also said that the coronavirus crisis had strengthened cooperation between him and PM Babiš.
Some 169 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in connection with an
outbreak at a mine in Karviná in the Moravian Silesian Region. Most of
those infected worked directly in the Darkov mine; the remainder are their
family members or maintenance workers at the facility.
As of Saturday evening, the total number of infections registered in the Czech Republic stands at 8,853. There have been 314 deaths with the coronavirus.
A representative of the Smartwings Group, which owns Czech Airlines, says
its collapse could threaten up to 60,000 jobs. Firm ombudsman Vojtěch
Lažanský said an analysis he had produced also indicated commercial
flying schools in the Czech Republic could be forced out of business if the
indebted company went bust.
Government members have spoken about the possibility of the state buying out Smartwings or providing it with some other form of support. However, opposition politicians and some analysts have criticised the idea, saying it is not a strategic company. Smartwings has around 2,000 employees.
Wearing face masks even in indoor spaces could cease to be obligatory in
the Czech Republic at the end of June, says the minister of health, Adam
Vojtěch. From Monday it will be no longer required to cover one’s nose
and mouth in public unless one is in an enclosed space or in close
proximity to others.
Government epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar said that said that requirements regarding face masks could in future be intensified in particular regions of the country depending on the public health situation.
In mid-March the Czech Republic became one of the first countries in Europe to introduce compulsory face masks in a bid to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Czech football’s first division gets back underway on Saturday evening
after a two and a half month break. Teplice will welcome Liberec in the
first game in the top flight since early March, when the league was halted
due to the coronavirus pandemic. More matches will follow on Tuesday and
All games will take place behind closed doors and under strict hygiene conditions. The Czech Republic is one of the first states in Europe to see its top level soccer return.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) hopes to renew his
regular joint trips abroad with Czech business representatives as of this
autumn, he said during an online seminar for exporters on Thursday.
If the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic allows, Petříček wants to start his originally planned trips to Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
He said he always tries to include industry and trade representatives on his foreign trips to help support the export-oriented Czech economy.
A green beer festival launched 15 years ago by the Starobrno brewery to
mark Maundy Thursday is going ahead after a seven-week delay due to
restrictions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In Central Europe, Maundy Thursday, the day commemorating the Last Supper, has long been known as “Green Thursday”, possibly because centuries ago priests wore green vestments to celebrate Easter Mass.
Starobrno has since 2005 brewed a special 13 degree green beer for distribution during Holy Week. This year’s accompanying festival will start on May 29, several days after restaurants and pubs in the Czech Republic can reopen their interiors.